Burglary suspect escapes cuffs, is recaptured

Pinole police on Wednesday arrested a burglary suspect who was able to initially escape custody after a struggle with an officer, prompting lockdowns of nearby school campuses as an extensive search was conducted.

Robert Martinelli, 52, of Crockett, was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, attempted carjacking, obstructing and resisting an officer and escape of a felon by force, police said.

Officers responded at 12:44 p.m. Wednesday to the 2000 block of Sarah Drive on a report of a burglary in progress.

Officers located the suspect, identified as Martinelli, and took him into custody, police said.

While in custody, Martinelli was able to manipulate his handcuffs and flee after a brief struggle with an officer, police said.

Officers and Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies assisted in searching the surrounding area for the suspect. Lockdowns at Stewart Elementary and Pinole Valley High schools were called for during the search, according to police.

After eluding officers, Martinelli tried to carjack a vehicle in the area of Pinole Senior Village, police said.

California Highway Patrol air units eventually spotted Martinelli and he was again taken into custody.

Martinelli was booked into county jail and police said he is the only suspect in the burglary.